Thursday, May 12, 2005

 

U.S. Military Makeover

You must check out this link... http://chrenkoff.blogspot.com/2005/05/disadvantages-of-pissing-off-america.html. It's an impressive photo essay of the latest reality show: Extreme Makeover - U.S. Military Edition. The stylish Islamist terrorists discover a whole new style (complete with "spider hole head") when they make the mistake of pissing off America.
 

Surprise... Condi's on target on domestic issues, too!

En route to work today, I caught snippets of an interview of Condi with Larry King (thanks to the Laura Ingraham show for the opportunity). The topic was the second amendment. Not surprisingly, Condi was for it, and she made two powerful points.

First, she told the story of her father and other neighborhood dads in Birmingham, Alabama sitting on the front porch with guns to protect their families from the white supremecists in early 1960's. Condi's point was the that genius of the second amendment is that it recognizes that the ultimate responsibility for safety lies with the individual. Our founding fathers knew that there were situations where the authorities couldn't or wouldn't protect the citizenry, and they wanted to ensure the individual's right to protect himself. The image of Condi's father on the front porch in the heat of the Civil Rights movement is an amazingly powerful illustation of that basic point.

Second, Condi stated the oft overlooked reality that we don't get to "pick and choose" our constitutional rights. The right to bear arms has the same force as the supposedly more valuable rights of speech, assembly and religion contained in the first amendment. They are either all sacrosanct or all not. A simply point, but again powerful.

It is nice to know Condi is as forceful and knowledgable on the domestic side as she is with foreign policy.
 

Bush in Georgia

For those of you who haven't, it is worth the effort to surf the net for video and audio of the President's visit to Georgia. Not Atlanta, Georgia... the former Soviet Georgia. The reception would have made a rock star proud, and Bush even got into the spirit with a little dance on stage (again... it is worth checking out the video).

What is so stunning about those images and sounds is exactly what the crowd is celebrating: liberty. Freedom and democracy on display on the doorstep of old Russia, with an American President urging on the crowd by speaking of the core American values. Despite the steady march of freedom across the globe, there are some that still don't acknowledge its power. Those critics should consider Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Ukraine and Georgia. Long after this president has left office, his forceful call for freedom will continue to echo across the globe.

Friday, April 29, 2005

 

April ?Showers?

It's April 29th. It's snowing. It's Colorado. Unbelievable.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

 

Double down on the dictators...

As reported with surprise by some in the liberal media, there was another startling coincidence today as Lebanon became a "Syria-free" zone. http://washingtontimes.com/world/20050427-120134-7799r.htm

This development coincides with the equally improbale emergence of nascent democracy in the previously infertile soil of Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. Equally puzzling, Egypt appears to be heading for a presidential election with more than one candidate on the ballot. Funny how all these disconnected positive events could all be happening at the same time we have a cowboy president bold asserting American force and the ideals of democracy. Could it be, perchance, that Bush's strategy for transforming the Middle East could be working???

The truth is that it is working, and it will continue to work as long as America perseveres. I love the revolt in Lebanon which gives Bush the chance to double down and maybe get a two-for-one with regime change in Syria. Hopefully soon.
 

Filibuster bingo...

One of the frustrations of Republicans like me is how in the world we can manage to win elections and still govern like a timid majority. Elections have consequences. Elections with the greatest turnout since 1968 and a resounding win by an excess of 3 million votes have even bigger consequences. And foremost among those consequences is getting to pick judges.

Despite being the majority in the Senate, the R's are letting the D's set the tone. This filibuster maddness is your basic minority delaying tactic. The D's muck up the works, suck up the limelight, and waste time on these matters to delay action on any number of fronts. And all the R's have done is enable this strategy.

The R's miscalculated on the strength of the Daschle example. Whatever genius thought guys like Kennedy, Schumer, Byrd and Kerry were going to just sit back chastened was delusional. Though they are bankrupt on ideology, the D's are hard core legislators, and they don't pull punches. The proper response is to whack them on the nose and shove it down their throat. Some of these judges have been on hold for four years, and everyone knew that this would be a problem before Congress reconvened. Frist should have gotten the votes to eliminate the filibuster for judicial nominees right out of the gate. First order of business would have been the go nuclear, then it would be a fait accompli. Let the D's complain on the Sunday shows... by February, it would be old news and Bush's judges would be getting their votes. By March, the D's would be on to scaring grandma about Social Security.

Instead, the R's dithered, and dithered and dithered. All this does is give oxygen to the story and embolden the D's. Any way you slice it, the D's have mucked this up for nearly six months. It is time for the R's to start acting like a majority. Change the rule, get the judges a floor vote, and move on. By 2006, no one will remember this little spat, unless the R's dither around another year or so and let the D's make it a campaign issue.
 

This just in.. the new pope still Catholic...

In the interim between my earlier and most recent posts, the Roman Catholic Church managed to bid farewell to the only pope I've known and elect a new one. With the usual caveat that I am not Catholic, I found the process interesting on a number of levels.

First, whatever your thoughts on John Paul's theology, he was unquestionably on the right side of history on the biggest issue of his day, namely the defeat of communism. It is amazing how quickly we forget how different the world was before the wall fell in 1989. As a budding political science major in college at the time, I was well-versed in the unshakeable stability of the bipolar world , which of course was the unchanging reality right up until the moment when it suddenly wasn't. The wall simply fell, and the days of communism were numbered. For that, we in large part have to thank John Paul II (along with Reagan and Thatcher). John Paul definitively answered Stalin's question about how many divisions the Pope had, and the resounding answer was many more that Uncle Joe.

Second, it was interesting watching the media try to cover the papal election. Like a hammer for whom the whole world appears to be a nail, the media galloped off to cover the event as a European redux of an American presidential election. The problem is that you simply can't fit the round peg into the square hole of your storyline. The Pope and the papal election date back nearly 2,000 years. They simply don't work or think in modern day media time. Watching the media's befuddlement over a secret election behind closed doors with ballots burned and inspiration from the Holy Spirit was entertaining to say the least.

And finally, when Pope Benedict emerged, there was a ceremonial gnashing of teeth because the conclave failed to appoint a pope with the appropriate liberal sensibilities. Why this was at all a surprise is beyond me. This is the Catholic Church. Their entire reason for being is to espouse and preach certain immutable and unchanging truths. As the leader of the church, you would expect someone who actually believes in these truths that define what it means to be Catholic. Being the head of the Catholic Church means things like no female priests and opposition to abortion. The last pope was a Catholic, and surprise, surprise, the new pope happens to be a Catholic too.

Friday, April 22, 2005

 

One Nation under "your personal belief system"

Taking the rare occasion to persue the local paper today, I happened across the following article. It seems while reading the Pledge of Allegiance over the PA at a local middle school, the administrator took it upon herself to "edit" the text to accommodate her personal issues with the use of "under God" in the pledge.

Her substitute, "under your personal belief system."

For the moment let's ignore the classlessness of the move, the fact that if your job is to read the Pledge then you should read the Pledge, and the fact that if you don't like the Pledge, just don't read it. But at the end of the day, the Pledge says what it says. Read it or don't, but don't impose your personal issues on the entire school by altering the text.

And why "under your personal belief system"? Talk about a short amalgamation of pointless gobbldy-gook that sums up the emptiness of politically correct thought. What exactly does that mean? I believe that Duke is good and Carolina is bad. Does that mean I should hinge my allegiance to my country on the altar of Coach K?

In any event, I was nonetheless inspired to question why rooting out one traditional value (God) didn't require utterly unrooting all of the timeworn, outmoded values within the Pledge. So I composed the following more PC and modern version which will properly inculcate our children into the glories of moral relativism in America...

"I pledge [allegiance] some occasional recognition
to the [Flag] symbols of oppression
of the [United States] diverse indigenous peoples of [America] the landmass referred to by oppressive European conquistadors as "America"
and to the [Republic] totalitarian theocracy for which it stands,
[one nation,] a Balkanized patchwork of cultures,
[under God,] under each individuals' personal belief system
[indivisible,] divided into innumerable unique communities of culture,
[with liberty and justice for all.] where some are more equal than others.

May the public school systems be blessed, each under their own personal belief system.

Friday, February 04, 2005

 

Maybe it is just me....

It is a rare treat for me to watch any significant portion of a sporting event. In the past week, I've had the chance to see most, if not all, of two Duke basketball games... Maryland and Wake. Duke managed to lose both. Not a loss all year, except for the two games I actually watched. So is it just me, or should I abandon all hope and settle for catching the score later???

Thursday, February 03, 2005

 

What makes America great

Some thoughts on the State of the Union speech. A powerful, effective speech all the way around. You've got to love Bush. He is pure Texan. You'd think that liberating 50 million people would be enough for the guy, but he's not about to back down or slow down. It is full speed ahead on a full agenda.

But at its heart, the speech was pure inspiration. Seeing a purple finger or two was a reminder of the power and dignity that the franchise gives to ordinary people. The Iraqi woman was a powerful symbol of freedom taking root in the rocky soil of the Middle East. But most of all, I was struck by the sight of the parents of the Texas marine killed in Fallujah. Apart from the obvious emotion of the moment, I was amazed just looking at those parents because they were simply so amazingly normal. Just your basic red-blooded American mom and dad. They looked like any normal American couple that you would find on any street in any town in this country. I suspect their son was much the same (aside from the high and tight haircut).

It is the ordinary people, like that family, that make America so great. Somehow, our country continues to produce ordinary people of conviction and strength, and those ordinary people do extraordinary things. That is the true strength and power of America, and I was awstruck at the power and simplicity of it all last night.

 

Off and Running

After much lurking about on the blogosphere in spare moments at work, I've "taken the plunge" and set this up. The plan is to see if this works.... set down my thoughts and musings and see if I have time to make this a go. I guess we'll see.

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